‘Stoke The Flames Higher’ is published!

EDITED TO ADD:  The formatting issue that some readers complained about has been resolved.  If you downloaded an early copy, and found that your text had a shaded background, you can reload the new version to take care of that.  See instructions at the foot of this post.  Thanks!

My latest novel, ‘Stoke The Flames Higher‘, fifth in the military science fiction Maxwell Saga, is now available in e-book format on Amazon.com.  It’ll be available in print and audiobook formats in the new year.

From the blurb:

Two planets, torn apart by the same fanatics – and Lancastrian forces are caught in the middle!

Major Brooks Shelby must keep the peace, on a world where radical terrorists want submission or death. Lieutenant-Commander Steve Maxwell must trace the source of their fighters and funding, deal with diplomats, and fend off a nosy journalist.

The marines are up against smuggled explosives and suicidal martyrs, while a suborned bureaucracy stymies the investigation. Brooks and Steve must find a way to stop their enemies at all costs, before the fanatics unleash their own version of Armageddon!

In case you missed it, you can find a teaser excerpt from it here.

Thanks very much for your patience.  I had to endure fifteen months of health troubles, including three surgical procedures, before I could finish this book.  It was no fun at all . . . but, please God, those troubles are behind me now.  I’ve got big plans for next year, and I hope I’ll be able to meet your expectations and more.

Please, PLEASE, when you’ve read this book, leave a review on Amazon.com!  It’s very important to an independent author like myself to build up his review count.  It’s one of the most important factors in how Amazon ranks products, and, therefore, in how it recommends them to customers searching for a particular theme or in a particular genre of books.  I’m not trying to solicit all 5-star reviews, you understand (although I’m very grateful that so many of you leave them).  Be honest in your review, by all means;  but please leave one.  An independent author relies super-heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations such as reviews.  They, in turn, drive Amazon’s ranking of our books.  Your review can mean either meat and potatoes on our plates, or bread and water!

I’d also be grateful for your feedback here, in comments on this blog, or by e-mail (see my blog profile for the address).  I try very hard to make each of my books ‘stand-alone’, not needing to have read the whole series to understand it, with plots that are interesting and gripping.  I don’t want to fall into the trap of merely repeating a formula.  Your feedback helps me avoid that, and assists in keeping my books fresh.

Thank you!


EDITED TO ADD:  To automatically refresh this (or any other) Kindle e-book with the latest version:

  1. Open Amazon.com in its own Web browser page or tab.
  2. Go to ‘Your Account’.
  3. Click on ‘Manage Your Content And Devices’.
  4. Go to ‘Settings’.
  5. Scroll down to the setting ‘Automatic Book Update (Whispersync for Books)’.  Make sure that it’s set to ON.

That’s it.  Your old version should automatically be replaced by the new one.


  1. Peter, bought the book as soon as I saw this. Unfortunately, there seems to be an odd problem with the Kindle formatting. The text is on a gray rectangle, embedded in the white page. The black-text-on-gray is pretty distracting, and reduces the readability. I just double-checked, and this was not the case by any of your other Kindle books.

    Is it possible that you picked some odd option when you published the book?

  2. @Brad: No, the formatting is standard. Check your 'View' options in your Kindle software. That's where you can change the background color if necessary.

    Meanwhile, I'll double-check with Amazon. Thanks for the heads-up.

  3. @Brad: I contacted Amazon and asked about your issue. They advised that it should not be a question of their file, because that doesn't contain background color information – that's left to the viewing device or program to select. Nevertheless, I've updated another copy of the file, which is currently being processed. If your problem persists, simply reload the file later this afternoon or this evening. I hope that will clear it up.

    Sorry you're having problems. Again, thanks for letting me know.

  4. Haven't had time to read it and look at the formatting yet, but just bought it. Look forward to reading it and writing a review.

  5. Peter,
    this brings to mind a question I have about Kindle type books.

    Quite a few of them have lines or passages that have a dotted line under them, with a note at the beginning with a number of highlighters listed. Where does this originate? And why? Usually it is a single digit amount, but a couple have been in the region of triple digits! And, yes, they do seem to be important to the story line, typically.

    Got to go buy the book!

  6. @Will: Those dotted lines show excerpts (usually a few words, sometimes a few sentences) that other Amazon.com readers have highlighted. The number refers to how many readers have done so. The idea is that striking passages, that have been noted or found important by a number of readers, might also be more important to other readers; so Amazon highlights them in that way, to draw your attention to them.

  7. Thanks for the update and the new book. You DO realise that I am now going to have to re-read the entire set. Oh, woe is me! 🙂

    Glad you got it out, and looking forward to reading it.

  8. Finished Stoke the Flames Higher last night. I just could not put it down. When is number 6 coming out. I can hardly wait to give you my money.

  9. Peter,

    frankly, I could do without the "highlighter" markings. It just distracts from the story. I originally assumed it was some sort of formatting mistake carried over to publication. To find that Amazon itself is to blame for it is surprising. It's stupid. I've already bought the book! I don't need their assistance in reading. Maybe their book people are incapable to such a degree, but they shouldn't assume the reading public is handicapped to that extent.

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